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Abstract Detail


Philips, Robert W [1], Byers, Diane L [2].

Competitive ability of Chamaecrista fasciculata from sand vs. tallgrass prairies .

In the tallgrass prairie region there are >10 types of prairies based on glacial history, bedrock, soils, and distribution of plants and animals. Chamaecrista fasciculata occurs in two prairie types; tallgrass and sand prairies. While most of the plants in these prairies are perennials, C. fasciculata is an annual. Thus C. fasciculata is expected to have strong selection to quickly grow and reproduce, although the set of characteristics enabling this plant to achieve success could be prairie-type specific. For example, tallgrass prairies have moist soil with dense vegetation, so plants will need to be able to tolerate competitors. In contrast, sand prairies have a well-drained soil with sparse vegetation, so plants will need to be drought tolerant. Given the differences in these prairies, I predicted that tallgrass prairies plants will be more tolerant of a competitor than sand prairie plants. To test if plants from sand vs. tallgrass prairies differ in their ability to grow and reproduce with a competitor (Schizachyrium scoparium) a greenhouse experiment was done where C. fasciculata seeds collected from either tallgrass or sand prairies were grown in pots with or without S. scoparium. To quantify potential differences in response to competition the following traits were measured: size (height and biomass), development (flowering time), and reproduction. To test if the seed source or competitor treatments impacted these measurements, we used a repeated measures ANOVA or a MANOVA. Growth declined in response to competition. The extent of this decline depended on the source population but tallgrass prairie plants were not the best competitors. Plants from tallgrass sources produced more aboveground biomass when grown alone, however both prairie types were equally negatively impacted by the competitor. Fruit production was greater by the sand prairies plants. Our data analysis does not find any evidence to support our hypothesis of greater competitive ability by the tallgrass plants. While no clear pattern in the greenhouse study was observed in sand vs. tallgrass prairies, differences of success in contrasting habitat types could be the result of the combination of abiotic and biotic factors of a prairie type acting on C. fasciculata. Our next step will be a pair of common garden field experiments that will test habitat characteristics collectively and assess the responses of plants from different types of prairies. Assessment of habitat specific responses in C. fasciculata would determine the necessity of habitat-specific seed source in prairie restorations.

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1 - IL State Univ, School Of Bio Sci, Campus Box 4120, Normal, IL, 61790, USA
2 - Illinois State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, CAMPUS BOX 4120, NORMAL, IL, 61790-4120, USA

local adaptation

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Section Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC008
Abstract ID:238
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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